Fallout From Facebook Controversy Continues

It’s now been over two weeks since the Cambridge Analytica bomb blew up in Facebook’s lap, and, while the dust has barely settled, one thing is clear: This scandal isn’t blowing over.

On the contrary, analysts are now adjusting their revenue projections downward in light of the massive controversy.

Pivotal Research, for one, now believes that Facebook’s revenue is more likely to decelerate faster than previously estimated in the latter half of the year.

Among other fallout, Pivotal expects more advertisers to scrutinize their spending on the social network.

Of course, the research firm still expects Facebook to produce significant growth of 33% this year, and 25% next year.

Yet Facebook’s historically casual approach to data collection and sharing could now be coming back to bight the entire online advertising industry.

“This is because politicians, their constituents and much of the press may no longer see a significant distinction between illegal data breaches, unintentional data leaks and the existence of vast pools of legally accessed consumer data,” Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser writes in a new client note.



And, Wieser doesn’t envision those negative perceptions improving when Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress on April 10.

Rather, Wieser imagines Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley or one his colleagues asking Facebook’s CEO something like: “Mr. Zuckerberg, is it true, as Business Insider reported in 2010, that you once texted a friend describing people who shared data with Facebook as ‘dumb f---s?’”

Considering his palpable aversion to public scrutiny, Zuckerberg isn’t likely to respond well to any such grilling.

Making a confrontation more likely, Zuckerberg just called Tim Cook’s recent assessment of Facebook’s privacy problems “extremely glib.”

Zuckerberg made the comment during an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, in which he took issue with Cook’s contention that companies using consumer data in exchange for free services are somehow misguided.

“The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay,” Zuckerberg declared.

It’s a fair argument, of course, but it will take a communicator far more skilled that Zuckerberg to actually sell it.

1 comment about "Fallout From Facebook Controversy Continues".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, April 4, 2018 at 12:41 p.m.

    Up until now, Millennials and Gen Z have been pretty unconcerned about their lack of privacy.  You can read their thoughts here...

Next story loading loading..